Servicing your transmission is crucial to prevent a costly repair in the future. The fluids in your transmission are the key to helping your transmission work properly. We recommend a transmission service every 30,000 miles to get the maximum amount of life from your transmission.
The main cause of automatic or manual transmission failure is heat and fluid contamination. In most cases the heat is the result of broken down fluid that can no longer cool or lubricate internal transmission components properly. The debris from normal wear and tear of internal metal and clutch components become suspended in the transmission fluid degrading its cooling and lubricating qualities. This creates more heat and faster wear on internal components.
A transmission flush is a maintenance process where all of the oil in a transmission is removed, new oil (and sometimes cleaning solutions) is run through it using a special machine to push out grime and sludge and then it is filled up with new oil. The process is used to remove debris and sludge and replace 100% of the used oil with a very high- grade synthetic transmission fluid.
A flush uses a professional grade machine to completely flush or extract all the old transmission fluid from your transmission including the torque converter. This process runs a special cleaning solution through the transmission that cleans all internal parts then is flushed out with the old fluid. The old fluid is then replaced with a high quality synthetic transmission fluid.
A drain and refill, on the other hand, simply drains 20% – 40% of the total fluid in the transmission leaving behind most of the contaminants. This service is not as effective as a flush but is better than doing nothing at all. The goal of both a drain and refill and a flush is to improve and extend the life and performance of your vehicle.
Before performing the transmission service, a technician should take your vehicle on a test drive in order to identify any serious problems that should be looked into before servicing your transmission. The unit should also be inspected for any external signs of damage or leaks.
Flushing machines typically connect to the cooler lines. The line that connects your vehicle’s transmission to the cooler will be disconnected and attached to the machine’s line in. This will allow the car’s fluids to drain into the machine. The line out from the machine then connects to your car’s cooler. This allows the new fluid in the machine to be transferred into the transmission. The transfer process only utilizes the pressure produced by the car’s pump to circulate it, so no damage can be done to the internal parts of the system.
These are some common signs that you need to perform a transmission service on your vehicle:
Transmission Grinding or Strange Noises
A vehicle transmission that is contaminated with dirt, grease and sludge can display symptoms very similar to inadequate levels of transmission fluid. When driving your vehicle, if you notice your transmission grinding or making strange sounds, you should stop the vehicle and check the transmission fluid level while the engine is still running. Insure that the transmission fluid color is bright red and not brown or black because of grime or sludge. If the fluid level of the transmission is acceptable, you should have your vehicle checked by a qualified service technician as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more costly it will get.
Problems Shifting Gears
Regardless if you drive an automatic or manual, your car requires clean transmission fluid that flows easily throughout your car’s transmission. A transmission that contains too much dirt or sludge will cause sluggish response in the transmission, which will result in your vehicle changing gears too quickly or too late while driving. In manual transmission vehicles, you may find it very hard to change gears at all.
A dirty transmission may cause a lack of hydraulic power, much the same as not having enough transmission fluid will cause. In order to stay in the appropriate gear, the transmission must develop enough pressure. When a transmission is too dirty, contaminants may interfere with the flow of transmission fluid that helps with this process. If you’re transmission has no other problems, and the fluid level of the transmission is full (or close to it), the problem is probably restricted fluid flow due to a buildup of dirt and contaminants that need to be flushed out.
Surging of the Vehicle
When your vehicle’s transmission is broken down with dirt and contaminants, you may notice unexplainable surging of your vehicle. Because your vehicle’s dirty transmission fluid does not allow for adequate fluid flow, your vehicle may tend to jump or surge forward and fall backwards for no good reason. This is caused by inconsistent flow of clean transmission fluid that is needed to ensure smooth operation of the gears and other moving parts inside the transmission bell housing.
Delay in Vehicle Movement
Another sign that your vehicle may have contaminated transmission fluid is when the vehicle stalls for one or two seconds before moving after having been put in gear. If there are no other problems with the transmission, a transmission flush may help.
You should be aware that if the vehicle is displaying these symptoms, your dirty transmission might have already caused bigger problems.
At Carlsbad Auto Service we use the BG PF5 Power Flush and Fluid Exchange System.
The transmission power flush service using the BG PF5 machine is the most advanced flushing machine in our industry. It’s a powerful alternative to traditional transmission fluid exchange methods. It exchanges all of the transmission fluid in the transmission and torque converter.
Traditional transmission fluid exchange methods, such as a pan drop or most transmission flushes, do not remove all of the old fluid before new fluid is added. The old fluid quickly contaminates the newly added fluid, causing it to break down more quickly than completely clean automatic transmission fluid. Contaminated transmission fluid leaves behind deposits that can cause gear grinding, delayed transmission response, or stalling.
As a vital part of the BG Transmission Service, the BG PF5 cleans the system using BG Quick Clean for Automatic Transmissions, removes old automatic transmission fluid while simultaneously adding new fluid such as BG Universal System Synthetic ATF or BG Universal Synthetic CVT Fluid. The simultaneous exchange method permits no intermixing of new and old fluids, meaning the new fluid will last significantly longer. Once the fluid exchange is complete, additives such as BG ATC Plus or BG Universal Synthetic CVT Fluid Conditioner, can be installed through the machine to protect the transmission and ensure long fluid life.
A BG Transmission Service is backed by the Lifetime BG Protection Plan if the initial service is performed within 75,000 miles/120,000 km. To maintain coverage, get a BG Transmission Service every 30,000 miles/50,000 km.